Friday, 23 July 2021

Introducing My New Author Page

 


Anyone looking for a change of scenery might wish to take a look at my new Author Page, where all of my current works are featured side by side for ease of reference. It features a handy contact form for enquiries and will run a regular blog featuring longer articles than would be the norm at this site. Please feel free to take a look by clicking here.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

1000 Memories of 1976 - A Compendium of Nostalgia

 


My latest book (upgraded from a booklet, as it had originally been intended to be) is selling well, and has already received several favourable reviews on its product page at Amazon.

1000 Memories of 1976 is just as the name suggests, except that there are actually many more than a thousand. Each and every memory was solicited through Facebook groups whose admins kindly lent me their platforms, and was crafted together into a veritable mosaic of nostalgia which I hope will serve as a valuable reference point for present and future historians of the era.

As 1976 was Bicentennial year across the pond, most of my transatlantic contributors were understandably focussed on that event. For convenience I have included a dedicated chapter through which to capture the experience through a specifically American lens. This includes a number of fascinating pics and illustrations which were sent in along with the written material.

What had started out as an almost half-serious idea turned into a labour of epic proportions, but I'm still glad I did it. 1000 Memories of 1976 is available from Amazon in paperback (£8.99) or ebook (£2.99). As always a sample is available to view before deciding whether to commit.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Memories of 1976?

Over the last couple of months I've been labouring over a new literary project with the working title Memories of 1976.

As it implies on the tin, the idea has been to solicit memories via Facebook nostalgia groups from people of a certain age who have some kind of affinity to 1976 - the year of that never-ending summer when the old met the new in music and in popular culture, while an unstable world seemed to totter on the brink of economic meltdown tinged with a worrying if still remote prospect of nuclear conflagration.

If the intention was to use content from others as an easy means of filling pages for my own work then things haven't quite gone to plan. Expecting maybe two to three dozen responses, instead I received nearly 1600, which now need to be ploughed through and placed into some kind of logical context which leaves nothing out and yet somehow retains its freshness through to the final page. Honour obliges me to include every sensible contribution, as I promised all those who engaged with the project that I would. And so what began as an idea for an easy win for a new booklet has morphed into something which threatens to resemble a sequel to War And Peace.

No matter, it is what it is. I will announce the new masterpiece to an eagerly awaiting world just as soon as it is available. To be truthful I'm rather looking forward to it as I'm confident it will be a work worthy of a place in the burgeoning archives of retro, as well as a useful reminder that things don't always go to plan.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

The Man Who Fell to Earth



Think of this iconic 1976 sci-fi movie and the mind becomes inexorably fixed upon a vision of the gaunt, pallid figure with wavy red locks that was David Bowie playing Thomas Jerome Newton, the visitor from another planet come to Earth to find water with which to sate the desperate thirsts of his drought-stricken people.

And yet Nicolas Roeg's surreal cult movie, based on Walter Tevis' 1963 novel of the same name, saw Bowie in the first lead acting role of his already colourful career. Sure he had studied mime under the expert tutelage of Lindsey Kemp, an art which he had incorporated with dazzling effect into his Ziggy Stardust stage routine, and had secured a blink-and-you'll-miss-it bit-part role in the late sixties comedy romp The Virgin Soldiers, but this was a big leap even for a man of Bowie's many talents.

Nevertheless, when the accolades were handed out following the movie's initially modest success it was Bowie who scooped the Saturn Award for Best Actor.

LOVE INTEREST

Newton, an alien in more or less human form, arrives on his mission equipped with an advanced knowledge of technology, which he was able to put to good effect on Earth by patenting inventions and making himself wealthy in the process. But he needs his wealth to enable him to build a space vehicle with which to transport water back to his people.

Whilst here amongst our people, however, he not unreasonably finds himself to drawn to earthly pursuits, not least a love interest called Mary-Lou, played by Candy Clark. He also develops rather too keen an enthusiasm for alcohol, upon which he eventually becomes dependent.

Nevertheless he does actually manage to construct his space craft, only to be detained shortly before his planned departure after being betrayed by one he thought he could trust. And so the story descends into anti-climax, with the sad visitor increasingly resigned to the fact that he will never return, and settling in with some difficulty to life on Earth, minus his girl and much of his faculties.

ENDURING SUCCESS

Bowie went on to enjoy a successful acting career in film and on stage alongside his immense musical achievements. In spite of the unspectacular reception that The Man Who Fell To Earth received in 1976, it achieved enduring success as a cult movie through later years and is today one of Roeg’s most celebrated works.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Read a Free Sample of The Best Year Of Our Lives

It is now possible to read a free sample of The Best Year Of Our Lives before ordering. Please just click below:

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Your Memories of 1976 Wanted

I am presently researching for a new booklet featuring memories and experiences of the wonderful year that was 1976 from those who were there, and I am hoping that as a visitor to this blog you may wish to help by lending me some of your own?

What were you doing during that long hot summer? What memories does that year have for you in particular? The music? The drought and the ladybirds? A memorable holiday perhaps? Some special event in your life? Recollections from your youth?

If you'd like to contribute a few lines for the booklet, a few keepsakes, please just add them under Comments at the foot of this post or send me a PM. I'll need the name you'd like to be identified by (it can be initials, first name, or whatever you like) and a location - nothing too detailed or which gives too much information please.

Typos and bad grammar will be corrected, profanities will be deleted (as will anything which identifies anyone), but beyond that the floor is yours. Remember, it's about 1976 so please try to focus on that year if you can.